The concept of light has always been important to me. I love the sunlight, prefer being out of doors, hate the dark, and loathe the short winter days. From a recognised date in October, until the sun begins to return to this hemisphere, I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder due to lack of light.
When it comes to writing and being productive, I can reflect back happily on two months during winter 2011, on mornings spent writing in Tenerife, after a leisurely cup of tea on the sun-bathed balcony. Eight weeks and a third of a book drafted, with still time to show visitors around, visit local markets, dine out on wonderful fresh fish and walk daily unencumbered by coat, hat or scarf.
The Canary Islands in winter are home to many creative snowbirds, headed south for the ideal conditions to live out their intended life.
Where would your ideal place to write be?
I love it when I’m away from home and can just sit down and write for as long as I like. There is something special for me about writing first thing in the morning I love to sit and write longhand as the birds sing, greeting the new day. On one holiday early each morning I sat on the balcony of the hotel, overlooking the sea and wrote. Another I sat out on the terrace each morning, with the sound of the river rushing by and wrote. So I’m guessing my dream place to write is somewhere warm, close to the sea or a river, but most importantly, where normal daily life can’t find me!
It sounds as if light is integral to that preferred scenario too.
When life doesn’t go as planned – what happens when light turns to dark and shadows persist and lengthen, is becoming a familiar theme in our own writing. In Eight of Cups some of our characters gained insight and saw the light, others did not. Choosing a book title can be a tortuous business. Did you know that we went through quite a process before we settled on Eight of Cups? We might well have named the book ‘Seeing the Light’ or ‘Light and Dark’
Light also figures strongly in two of my Goodreads favourites – ‘In Another Light’ by Andrew Greig and ‘The Light between Oceans’ by M L Steadman. These titles reflect well both the theme and something of the tone and genre. (See My reviews)
Today the light will shine here in eastern Scotland till after 11pm. My juniper-scented candle is burning slowly, some baroque music is playing softly and it’s now time for me to shine a light on what happens to Scottish doctors Alan and Hugh in our second novel, ‘Never Do Harm’ as their relationship deteriorates.